Traveling with Others – What NOT To Do When You Are Traveling in A Group
by Taylor Deer
Ever since I became a seasonal traveler, I have meandered the world with people who come from different backgrounds, cultures, age groups, interests, tolerance levels and more. As treasuring as it is to travel with other people, I have learned through studying abroad and going on group tours that it can also be hard.
Before you read on, I want to make it clear that traveling with people is amazing and I have met so many lifelong friends through my adventures. Not only do you learn about yourself from going out of your comfort zone, but you also learn a lot from the people you are with. You tend to form a deep and special bond when you travel with other people because at that exact point in time, you both are in the same place in life and you really only have each other. It is always important to travel with an open mindset when you have other travelers with you and to understand everyone’s point of view.
Here are some helpful tips on what to avoid when you are traveling with people:
- Don’t try to judge someone as soon as you meet him or her. If someone doesn’t look or dress the way you do, parties like you, isn’t in a relationship like you are or is still trying to find themselves, always remember that everyone travels for different reasons and despite your differences with someone, you have more in common with that person than you think. You both chose to go to the same destination for similar reasons.
- Don’t seclude yourself. Get out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself to everyone! As comforting as it is to stick with the friends who you traveled with from back home, it is so important to get to know your fellow travelers. You never know how another person can impact your life or vice versa.
- Don’t always say yes to everything. Learn to stand your ground and say no! This is so important because I see so many people miss out on amazing opportunities during the day because they were too influenced to stay out late or do something they feel pressured to do.
- Don’t go somewhere alone with a stranger. I may sound like a mom, but you have to face reality and know that you are with someone you don’t know at all, in a foreign country that has a completely different legal system, with no one to help find you if you go missing. Look at it as you have the opportunity to travel to this beautiful country. It is a blessing you can travel to places where most people can’t, don’t turn a once-in-a-lifetime, happy experience into a sad one.
- Don’t stay shy. Always have open communication with your tour director and fellow travelers. If you are having an issue with someone, pull him or her over to the side when you have down time and let them know how you feel in an understanding way. One of the worst things you can do is get other people in your tour group involved. Always remember that the people you are traveling with spent the same amount of money you did and don’t want unnecessary drama.
- Don’t refrain yourself from asking questions or for help. Whether it is a question about a site you are visiting or advice from another traveler, it is important to know what is going on or how to understand something better. There is a reason why you chose to travel with a group; they are there for you!
- Don’t miss out on any fulfilling excursions. If your tour director made dinner plans at a local’s home, GO! If there is an opportunity to tour an old religious building, GO! You have the rest of your life to sleep in or party.
- Don’t worry about your followers on social media. You are in a breathtaking place! Post more than one photo a day on Instagram and check into every cool place you visit on Facebook.
- Don’t be mean. If you are having a bad day and someone is annoying you, kindly walk away and don’t bad mouth that person to other travelers. “Be kind”!
- Don’t say goodbye to your fellow travelers at the end of your trip. Instead, tell them “see you later”. One of my favorite sayings is “You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That’s the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”
Back in January, I traveled with this group to Iceland and a few weeks ago we got to rock climb at The Gravity Vault in Upper Saddle River, NJ.
I hope this article was helpful and prepares you for your next group trip. If you have any questions about my travel experiences, please email me at Taylor@sitinmyseats.com.
Happy travels, always,
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